Event Title

Including Interstellar Scattering Effects in Pulsar Timing

Presenter Information

Jacob Turner, Oberlin CollegeFollow

Location

King Building 323

Start Date

4-28-2017 3:00 PM

End Date

4-28-2017 4:20 PM

Abtract

The NANOGrav collaboration aims to detect low frequency gravitational waves by measuring the arrival times of radio signals from pulsars. A confirmation of such a gravitational wave signal requires timing tens of pulsars with a precision of less than 100 nanoseconds for around 10-25 years. A crucial component of the success of pulsar timing relies on understanding how the interstellar medium affects timing accuracy. Current pulsar timing models only account for the large-scale dispersion delays from the ISM. As a result, the comparably small-scale propagation effects caused by scattering are partially absorbed into the dispersion delay component of the model. Here we present the results of a simulation that demonstrates how the exclusion of scattering from pulsar timing models can lead to a loss of both timing precision and accuracy, resulting in timing discrepancies on the order of microseconds.

Keywords:

interstellar medium, pulsar, astrophysics, gravitational waves, black holes

Notes

Session II, Panel 11 - Sustainable | Practices
Moderator: Cindy Frantz, Professor of Psychology and Environmental Studies

Link to full text thesis at OhioLINK ETD Center:
http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=oberlin1495573098864359

Major

Physics

Advisor(s)

Rob Owen, Physics & Astronomy

Project Mentor(s)

Dan Stinebring, Physics & Astronomy

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Apr 28th, 3:00 PM Apr 28th, 4:20 PM

Including Interstellar Scattering Effects in Pulsar Timing

King Building 323

The NANOGrav collaboration aims to detect low frequency gravitational waves by measuring the arrival times of radio signals from pulsars. A confirmation of such a gravitational wave signal requires timing tens of pulsars with a precision of less than 100 nanoseconds for around 10-25 years. A crucial component of the success of pulsar timing relies on understanding how the interstellar medium affects timing accuracy. Current pulsar timing models only account for the large-scale dispersion delays from the ISM. As a result, the comparably small-scale propagation effects caused by scattering are partially absorbed into the dispersion delay component of the model. Here we present the results of a simulation that demonstrates how the exclusion of scattering from pulsar timing models can lead to a loss of both timing precision and accuracy, resulting in timing discrepancies on the order of microseconds.